Zookeepers at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo are still working flat out during the coronavirus crisis and are asking for assistance from the public.
When you think of essential workers you may think of NHS staff, but Tiffin the monkey still needs training, and Cynthia the pig still needs to be fed.
Jamie Baker, a zookeeper at Battersea Zoo, spoke about the challenges they are facing while closed to the public.
Mr Baker said: “There are zoos that I imagine will probably not reopen at all because of this, so we hope we can keep ourselves going.”
The team are keeping themselves busy during the lockdown, as there are many jobs still to do.
Mr Baker continued: “One minute we are poo picking and the next we are trying to write press releases.”
Springtime blossom means one thing. Tahina can do his best impression of us all stuffing our faces with all of our lockdown snacks on the first night 👀🌸https://t.co/OO6iaxvjUg ❤️ pic.twitter.com/c1UUQDp9nu— Battersea Park Zoo (@battersea_zoo) April 7, 2020
This would normally be their busiest season, it was a blow to the organisation to close its doors over the Easter Holidays.
The zoo would usually see over 96,000 visitors annually, and even the otters have begun to take notice.
“Even now they will still look over the zoo at 10 o’clock when we would usually open,” Jamie said.
“They are little attention seekers, so they definitely notice people are not coming.”
Donations via the zoo’s Crowdfunder have provided an excellent support during this health crisis, and there has been an outpouring of support from the public so far.
Mr Baker added that the reaction has been fantastic so far, and hopes that this continues over the coming weeks.
The zoo has even seen the support of celebrities such as Hugh Grant chipping in to ensure that the zoo can survive.
There are some hungry meerkats and otters in my favourite mini zoo. I’m bunging then a few quid. Just in case any other W London family shares my worries, here’s the link. https://t.co/Tl6QdlVUSL— Hugh Grant (@HackedOffHugh) April 14, 2020
Lastly Mr Baker added that they will need visitors when the lockdown eventually ends, in order to make up for the drop in numbers this Easter.
If you would like to support Battersea Park Children’s Zoo during its temporary closure you can donate here.